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MEDC’s and LEDC’s
Development means almost the same as wealth.
- A developed country (MEDC) is a rich country.
- A developing country (LEDC) is a poor country. Development is often taken to mean the wealth of a country.
The most developed countries (the MEDCs) are relatively rich countries and the less developed countries (LEDCs) are relatively poor countries.
Development, however, is also about ‘quality of life’ or ‘standard of living’ and the extent to which all the people have a decent basic stand of living.
Availabilty of resources
LEDC’s are the countries which produce many of the worlds raw materials. They then sell these raw materials to MEDC’s for relatively low prices.
The MEDC’s then use the products to manufacture high value goods which they can sell for a great profit.
Many LEDC’s cannot afford the modern technology which would help to ensure better medical care and improve levels of employment.
In LEDC’s much of the food is produced on small, inefficient subsistence farms and together with problems caused by extreme weather, means that food production on a national scale may be inadequate to feed all the people.
Trade is the exchange of goods and services between countries.
- Goods, e.g. raw materials, food and manufactured products are called visible trade.
- Services, e.g. money spent by tourists, or foreign aid, are called invisible trade.
Many LEDC’s export primary products.
- These include things like oil, cotton, iron, bananas, coffee and cocoa. MEDC’s export a greater number and range of secondary products.
- These are often manufactured goods which are made from primary products from LEDC’s.
Over 50% of trade takes place between MEDC countries, for example, the trading of cars to provide everybody with a greater choice.
Less trading happens between LEDC’s as most of the LEDC’s produce the same products.
Rich countries in North America, especially the USA, and countries in free trade areas, such as the EU, dominate world trade.